Organic Farming and its Benefits

Nov 18, 2018 · 2 min read

Organic farming has mushroomed drastically in importance and influence worldwide from its modest beginnings in the first half of the last century. Organic farming is production of food and livestock without the use of herbicides, pesticides, weedicides, fertilizers or genetically modified organism and use natural resources such as manure and compost instead. In other words, it is a production system which maintains the quality of soil ecosystem as well as human beings. The chemicals were not used for farming before World War 2. A number of munitions used in farming have contributed to field of agriculture. For instance, ammonium nitrate used as ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

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The philosophy of agriculture to live harmony with nature is deeply rooted in ancient agriculture and still practiced in India, China and the Andes. Organic agriculture reflects this philosophy, but the recent history of concepts such as organic, bio dynamic, natural farming and other related concepts, can be traced back to early in the 20th century. Conventional agriculture differ from organic farming in terms of usage of chemical fertilizers which increase the nutrient of the soil, usage of genetically modified seeds for better crop production.

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Reduced Pollution

Organic farming has environmental benefits that reduce pollution. “The environmental benefits attributable to reduced chemical inputs, less soil erosion, water conservation, and improved soil organic matter and biodiversity were consistently greater in the organic systems than in the conventional systems” (Pimentel, Hepperly, Hanson, Douds, & Seidel, 2005, p 579). Organic farming focuses on enriching the soil with natural additives. Because of the healthier soil, organic farming reduces runoff and therefore creates a lower risk of polluting waterways. The absence of harmful pesticide and fertilizer sprays result in a cleaner atmosphere.

Lower Energy Use

Another environmental benefit of organic farming is the reduction of energy use. Some popular crops such as corn require nitrogen rich soil which is a high energy use product if farmed in conventional ways. Conventional farming achieves this by heavily spraying with nitrogen rich fertilizers. Energy calculations begin with the manufacture and transportation of these products. In addition, the use of equipment for repeated applications of the less effective fertilizer result in an overall higher energy need than that of organic farming. Organic farming achieves the nitrogen rich soil, instead, by using composted manure and the use of cover crops.

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